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Pharma are still a bunch of tight a#@!s

  1. IndiJo

    2,415 Posts.

    So with Abbvie looking to Unilife, I think its a good time to look at the devices that are being used with the recently approved Novartis drug Cosentyx for psoriasis.

    In trials the IL-17a based drugs easily outclass/perform the older TNF drugs like Humira and Enbrel. Novartis are the first of several to get their their IL-17a drug Cosentyx to market. (Amgen-Astra , Lilly etc close behind)

    The main reason Cosentyx was on my radar is it's 300mg concentration is too large for a single autoinjector or pfs. So IMO this type of drug being thrown into somebodies wearable will show the readiness for pharma to adopt the more expensive devices. If patient convenience is a real driver then why have them use two prefilled syringes or autoinjectors when they can use a wearable?

    LOL, the answer is two PFS with needle guards are about $0.80-1.00 and two Autoinjectors are about $5-6 vs the touted $20-30 for a wearable. Not to mention that current filling lines are geared around filling pfs that go into needle guards or autoinjector/pens....vs needing a machine that will insert the filled cartridge into a wearable and complete the assembly of the wearable. Its a higher capital cost to fill and pack the wearable, something that compounds the additional device cost

    So it appears at this time that Novartis are comfortable with their drug advantage and dont feel the need to go to town on their devices. Abbvie, on the flipside with it's older TNF drug looks to be going the device tech route to stay competitive in the psoriasis space

    So whilst people regularly bash std non safety pfs being inserted into needle shields to make a safety syringe as being rubbish, not worthy of comparison etc compared to our Unifill safety syringe...well here is first cab off the rank for 2015 and Novartis have no problem continuing to use needle shields for a drug that is going to be a big earner for them.

    And like all combination drugs coming through to the market, this drug-device combination underwent human factor studies and was used in trials where patients completed surveys on their ability to use the devices and their satisfaction.



    Device instructions

    What Novartis do for other indications like arthritis or for life cycle management; or in response to their competitors like Medimmune-Amgen and Brodalumab and also Eli Lilly with Ixekizumab (other IL17 drugs) will continue to be of interest.

    If for nothing else Novartis were doing a lot of studies into wearable injectors several years ago and this trial looked at Cosentyx delivered as a single 300mg dose


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